SOL- August 18, 2015
How Did That Happen?
A bit of review…This summer I had 21 glorious days “at home” in Boston. Having such a short time each day was precious. I had not been there for a year and a half. Naturally I wanted to spend most of my time with family, but my family is spread apart. My younger son graduated from university in May and in June began his first career. The trek from Boston to Bentonville, Arkansas was one I was going to make for the first time in order to see him in his new home.
As we planned my trip to Arkansas we organized it all around my son’s new work schedule. I was set to arrive just before he was finished for the day on Friday and then he would drop me off at the airport before going to work on Monday, which meant we could maximize our time together.
Now in all the planning it was clear that my son would pick me up from the airport. He had spent most of his “growing up” years living in Berlin, Germany- a city with a great network of public transportation. His college was in Washington, D.C.- a city with a better than average system (for the US) of public transport. In all this time he had never started driving- there really was no need. Flash forward to the spring of his senior year in university- he had been offered a job following on from a summer internship, so he knew that he would likely end up in Arkansas- the land of virtually no public transportation, so the need to drive became real.
In the spring, in the midst of last semester busyness, my son took driving lessons. He planned to take the test between the end of exams and graduation, with a back up date a few days later. Unfortunately he failed both times, so had to rearrange his short window of time to build in a few more days of practice and an additional test, which he happily passed (only a day before moving to Arkansas).
Before even arriving in Arkansas he had researched used cars and had an idea of what he wanted. He emailed me the details of the car and had a test drive the day after arriving. A few days later the deal was sealed and he began to furnish his apartment and begin his work life.
Less than a month later I was flying in to visit. As I landed I texted my son to let him know that I was there. He texted back that he was just leaving work and would see me in about 15 minutes. As I waited inside for a few minutes, to avoid the sticky heat, I marveled at the idea that my younger son would soon be there to pick me up. Moving outside I scanned the incoming cars looking for my son (I had completely forgotten what his car looked like at this point). Before too long my phone pinged-he was there. I skimmed the curb and saw his car and started to walk toward it as he glided to a stop. As I got closer he got out and told me to put my suitcase in the back and we hugged before getting into the car. I admired the car and remarked on its many features and away we went. He was an okay driver- a bit hesitant at times, but definitely I felt safe, On the way to his apartment I may have been a distraction, gripping thearm rest, braking on my side of the car, flinching occasionally, but as the drive continued I felt myself relaxing. He was a fine driver and all was well- how did this happen? It really was a moment to remember- my younger son picking me up from the airport- a subtle shift in our relationship- we were now even more equal- meeting as adults. The signs have been there for a long time- he was old enough to move to university thousands of miles away, work part-time through college, old enough to vote, and finally graduate. He is a full-fledged adult, and lots of fun to be with, but somehow this first drive together in his first car to his first apartment made it all crystal clear- I am now the mom of two adults- wow!
Next challenge is my older son, who has now decided that he better get his license too.